Party Earth Review A world famous traffic circle built in 1819 to connect Regent Street to Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus is a commercial thoroughfare that was once home to some of London’s most fashionable stores. Although its namesake street... ... read full review
At the intersection of Piccadilly and Regent Street
London W1J 0TR
Bakerloo, Piccadilly Lines: Piccadilly Circus
Central London, London –
A world famous traffic circle built in 1819 to connect Regent Street to Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus is a commercial thoroughfare that was once home to some of London’s most fashionable stores.
Although its namesake street has become quieter in the years since, the area remains an international draw, attracting wide-eyed tourists by the thousands thanks to its many shopping, entertainment, dining, and nightlife venues.
While partying locals use the square as a meeting place before heading out to nearby Chinatown, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, or Soho, global travelers arrive by the busload to gawk at oversized billboards reminiscent of New York’s Times Square and pose for pictures in front of the iconic statue of Anteros, god of requited love.
Fashion mavens, art lovers, and jewelry aficionados hunt for keepsakes at the regal Burlington Arcade – but if they’re not on their best behavior, they may be shown the door since singing, unfurling umbrellas, and whistling are all prohibited in the posh shopping center.
The Circus has plenty to offer entertainment enthusiasts as well, with swarms of cinema buffs and musical theater lovers descending on the Apollo Cinema and mammoth Criterion Theatre to take in a play and on the half-price ticket booth hoping to score some cheap seats for a West End show.
Perpetually crammed with tourists, shoppers, and souvenir peddlers selling the “finest” British kitsch, Piccadilly Circus is such a whirlwind of activity that the Brits use the expression “It’s like Piccadilly Circus” to describe any place with a crowded, zoo-like atmosphere.
Although this part of town can be a bit pricey, it never hurts to window-shop – just start at Piccadilly Circus and walk up Regent Street to see what some of London’s top stores have to offer. This is a busy area, so going on a weekday may be best to avoid the weekend stampede.
Mostly tourists of all ages, as well as locals who use the area as a meet-up point.
People-watching, shopping, and dining. Criterion Theatre (2 Jermyn Street), Apollo Cinema (19 Regent Street).
A variety of food chains, cafés, pubs, and restaurants dot the area, from Pret A Manger (163 Piccadilly) to Fortnum & Mason (181 Piccadilly).
All price ranges, from affordable to super-expensive.
Any day or night, though the area is especially busy on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons.